Drake University Calendar

Paint It Black: Street Painting

To demonstrate shared commitment to Drake University’s students of color, the campus community will join together to paint the Painted Street black, a powerful statement of solidarity and anti-racism. This historic action is intended to be a pivotal moment in University history. 

Students created The #PaintItBlack Project in response to hate incidents on campus this fall. The group brought forward a proposal to Drake University Student Senate to paint the Painted Street black until the 2019 Drake Relays, which unanimously passed a resolution of support. President Marty Martin confirmed his support of the resolution, following a forum attended by students of color, Drake Student Senate executive members, and Drake University Board of Trustees Chair David Golder. That meeting was disrupted by robocalls to campus from a white supremacist group.

From President Marty Martin: “We will not tolerate hate on this campus. I encourage all of you—students, faculty and staff—to take part in this historic and pivotal moment. Together, let’s stand against racism and hatred in all of its forms, and commit ourselves to equity and inclusion. We can do better as a Drake community, and we must.”

From Drake Student Activities Board (SAB): “We ask that, as we paint the street, you remember why we are there: We are committing to anti-racism. We are standing against racism and hatred. We are uniting in a common cause. We are celebrating equity and inclusion.”

Please note: This event is intended for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Supplies will be provided; please dress accordingly and consider the following:

  • Please dress warmly as the temperatures will be in the 40’s. This is not a paint fight, but be aware that you might get paint on your clothes. 
  • At the west side of Painted Street (close to Meredith), you will be able to pick up paint brushes, rollers, etc. provided by the Student Activities Board (SAB).
  • Black paint will be provided by the Dean of Students’ office. Student organizations who have a square on Painted Street will be painting their own square. You may assist a student organization with painting their square.
  • The painting will begin with a ceremony at the middle of the street at 1 p.m.

The #PaintitBlack Project Mission Statement: The #PaintItBlack Project seeks to publicly recognize acts of hate and shatter the conventional campus culture of silence, to foster a sense of community across identities.

Friday, November 16, 2018 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Painted Street
Des Moines, IA 50311

Event Type

Special Events


Undergraduate Students, Faculty & Staff, Law Students, Graduate Students


Equity & Inclusion, Other



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